Lubbock man reports identity theft after filing taxes online

Lubbock man reports identity theft after filing taxes online
Sheena Ellingson, 30 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)
Sheena Ellingson, 30 (Source: Lubbock County Detention Center)

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - A Lubbock woman is now facing charges, after police said they recovered other people's personal information from her vehicle.

Sheena Ellingson remains behind bars tonight, following her arrest yesterday evening.

Investigators said up to 50 people may have had their identities stolen.

But, they're still working to determine the extent of the crime.

There are a variety of ways that your information can be stolen, including on the Internet.

One Lubbock man believes he may have become a victim by filing his taxes online.

Karl Craig filed his taxes this year using an online system as he always has, but this year something changed.

Keeping his records organized is something Craig takes pride in. He said he has used the same online tax filing system, which he did not want to identify, since 2006.

He said he has never had an issue until this year.

"Normally, the people that I use will send me a little email back and say 'it's been filed, it's been accepted, have a great day' went about three weeks and did not receive that particular message, which I received year after year after year," Craig said.

He said he was a little concerned about the status of his taxes.

"So I went down to IRS for three consecutive working days, told them my little concern, the individual who I will not identify said 'yes, you have been hacked, your taxes have never been filed," Craig said.

Upon coming to the realization that his personal information could've been taken from him, he said the IRS told him that it's something that happens quite often.

"Very frequently, nationwide, it's an epidemic, that was the comment," Craig said.

He said that the IRS told him that his case is being investigated and may have more information for him by the end of April.

Craig said he had his computer checked out by an I-T expert who was not able to trace any act of hacking, but since the IRS told a different story, he is taking his banker's advice to get identity theft protection.

"Personally, this gives me a little rest, but full knowledge, I don't have a clue," Craig said.

Lubbock police told us that they do have a special unit that focuses on forgery and identity theft.

They said to just exercise caution while on the internet and only provide personal information on secure websites and only when it is really needed.

LPD said that once all of the victims in Ellingson's case are identified, police will be notifying them.

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